Los Angeles

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dancing Through Life ~ Taryn

I am so thrilled to post another Dancing Through Life feature with my good friend and part-time boss Taryn Chase!  Taryn is a truly inspiring dancer, as is her mother and sister.  Her parents own a dance studio in Brentwood called Dance for Kids and she owns her very own dance and active wear boutique in the same shopping center fittingly called Brentwood Dance and Activewear!  She has major style, total taste and carries the cutest workout clothes at her shop (including discontinued LolaStretch Leos--go get some!)  I am so honored to be her friend and I'm so glad she decided to share how she keeps dancing through her life....

1.  When did you start dancing? 

I started dancing not too long after I learned to walk, I think I was 2

2.  What styles did you train in and which is your favorite?  

I trained primarily in ballet, tap and jazz when I was young, and then modern in college. I always gravitated towards jazz or lyrical (these days people call it contemporary :-)

3.  Did you dance professionally or in college?  If so, where, what schools, companies and/or shows? 

I was a dance major in college. I performed in  3 dance concerts per season and had the honor to work with choreographers such as John Pennington, Victoria Koenig, Stephanie Gilliland and  Loretta Livingston just to name a few.  I was also selected to attend ADF (American Dance Festival) at Duke University for a summer intensive and ACDF (American College Dance Festival) 3 years in a row.

4.  When did you decide to pursue a career other than that of a dancer?
In college, I was a double major- Dance and Psychology. At the end of my senior year, I realized that I did not want to pursue either as a profession. I loved dance more than anything in the world, but for me it was always more of a hobby and interest. I didn't have that "can't live without it" passion that is needed to be a starving artist. 

5.  What do you do now?  

After a long string of jobs for 8 years in the retail industry, I have found a way to combine my love of dance with my professional experience. I opened a Dancewear store in August of 2009. 
the interior of Brentwood Dance and Activewear

6.  How has dance affected your life?  How does it inspire you? 

I say this to every mom who comes into my store saying that they are not sure if dance is for their daughter: whether you dance for a year or your whole life, dance gives children so much! It gives a sense of mind body connection, a spacial awareness, a feeling for what it's like to work hard and be dedicated to something. It also ingrained in me an importance on physical fitness. Even though I don't get to dance much anymore, I am very active, I do yoga and pilates, I go to the gym and it brings me back to my roots. Dancers always inspire me because I know how much dedication and passion it takes to succeed. And even then, it's not a glamorous lifestyle, so you know they do it for the LOVE!

7.  Do you feel like your dance background helped you in other aspects of your life?  Did it contribute to your other successes?  

Dance contribute to my life in so many ways, but the funniest of which is parallel parking! When I very first started driving, I was an excellent parallel parker. My mom always attributed it to my mind, body, spacial awareness- from being a dancer!!! 

8.  How do you keep a hand in the dance world?  How do you support it? 

It is amazing to have my dancewear store. I get to keep a hand in the dance world, and give back all it gave to me. I see little dancers on a daily basis, and nurture and encourage their love of dance. It gives me so much joy to help a little one find her first pair of ballet shoes, or watch a dancer grow and develop and suddenly get her first pair of pointe shoes! 
SYTYCD ballerina Melissa Sandvig with Taryn at the shop
9.  Do you have a favorite dance film, book or dancer? 

My favorite cheesy dance film is Center Stage. I watched it countless times in college!  My favorite classic dance movie is Singin' in the Rain. And my favorite movie about dance is Strictly Ballroom.

10.  Do you plan to keep dancing throughout your life?

I hope to always keep one foot in the dance community. It is frustrating to go back after so many years because you know what you should be doing, but your body doesn't always correspond. I try not to get discouraged though, so I am actually going to a class tonight! Wish me luck :-)

What a great way to live a life full of dance, family and fashion, don't you think?  Thanks Taryn for sharing what you love about dance and the ways in which you keep dancing through life If you are or were a dancer and want to share how you are dancing through your own life, email me and let me know! 


  1. what a fabulous job to have! and i love the part about whether you dance for only a year or your whole life, it gives you so much <3 great interview :)

  2. love the "dancing through life" posts! i also was taught by victoria koenig. she is the director of the studio i danced at for 13 years! i look forward to these posts...keep them up! :)


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